Fabulous Ways to Control Calories
Practical tips to eat well within your calorie budget. Calorie control is a major challenge for most weight watchers. However, you will be surprised to know that you can cut a substantial number of calories, just by making some smart changes in the way you cook and the food choices you make. Eating up to 500 calories less than you currently do does not require a complete overhaul of your diet. Just a nip here, a tuck there may be all that your diet needs!
#1 Measure your cooking oil
A small spoonful (5mL) of most cooking oils has more than 40 calories. And a spoonful looks like a few drops in a large pan! If you usually do not measure your cooking oil, you may be using 20mL or more for a simple stir-fry. It makes the calorie count of your food shoot unnecessarily. Measuring the amount that you use can help you save considerable calories.
#2 Change that frying pan
An absolute essential for cooking with the least amount of oil required is nonstick cookware. And when we say nonstick, we mean a good one with coating intact, not that greasy, crusted pan which once was nonstick. Change your nonstick pans once the coating wears off. The expense is worth the calories saved.
#3 Use smart cooking methods
All the foods that you eat fried can probably be eaten grilled, roasted, or steamed. This means nearly oil-free cooking and considerable calories saved. Try these cooking methods. You may be surprised to see that some dishes turn out better grilled and with far less fat.
#4 Fruit, not juice
Instead of having fruit juice at breakfast, have fruits. While an average orange has about 60 calories, a glass (250mL) of orange juice has more than 100 calories. Having fruit will also make you feel fuller and help you skip the next snack. The fiber that you get is also great for your health.
#5 Mind your drink
Soft drinks are an easy route through which calories sneak into your body. We tend to have them in rather large quantities at a time. If you can do without soft drinks, you can smoothly cut a few hundred calories. If you can't avoid them altogether, go for the diet versions. Similarly, if you can have your day's tea and coffee without sugar or with artificial sweeteners, you can save 20 to 100 calories depending on how much sugar you are currently taking.
#6 Stock smart desserts
Overcoming the desire to have dessert is no joke. Giving in could mean sending countless calories into your body with every mouthful. The best way out is to stock on some low calorie sweet treats. Fruit smoothies, flavored ice candies, flavored yogurt are all relatively low calorie options. An appealing bowl of chilled mixed fruits can also help take your mind off the ice-cream.
#7 Have low fat dairy
Low fat milk and yogurt has about half the calories as its full fat version. Instead of avoiding dairy altogether switch to the low fat variety. Doing this helps you keep up your calcium and protein intake while on a low calorie diet. It also makes your meals more satisfying so that you don't feel the urge to snack during the day. Moreover, yogurt can be used as a dressing in place of cream and cheese without compromising too much on the taste.
#8 Always from a plate
Make it a habit to put your food on a plate or bowl before you eat it. This means not eating handfuls directly from the bag. We underestimate portion sizes when we eat directly from a bag. It is also less satisfying. Eating at the table, from a plate will make you feel more satisfied with a smaller portion.
#9 Eat out only when eating-out
If you patronize eateries in shopping malls, cinema halls, bus stops and every other public place imaginable, you need to rethink. Do your shopping and other outings have to be associated with food? Eat at home before stepping out or carry a homemade snack in your bag. Eat out only when you are eating-out. Eating well is about enjoying every bite instead of eating on the go.
#10 Reduce slowly and steadily
Calorie cutting should be a slow and steady effort rather than the launch of a sudden war against food. If your dinner is usually a hearty spread of delicacies, switching to a salad only meal will be frustrating and make you want to give up. Instead, try to reduce and change your meal over a couple of weeks. It gives your body and mind time to adjust, which is a must for sustained change.